BNP Paribas has just paid a rather large fine for circumventing US sanctions, HSBC paid a (significantly smaller) fine for laundering money of criminal organizations, yet in both of these cases the decision makers have been untouched – undermining any deterrence effect.
Now, as Ars Technica reports:
A Comcast customer service representative tried to retain a customer over the weekend in a stunning display of hysteria and desperation, and his failure was recorded for all to enjoy. Gdgt founder and AOL Vice President of Product Ryan Block posted a recording of his attempt to cancel his Comcast cable service over the phone Monday night, showing remarkable patience and reserve in the face of adversity.
There are key words there: “hysteria”, “desperation” – wanna bet that this customer representative is lowly paid and has harsh performance measures that make losing a customer scary for him? Notice also that the rep’s “failure” is something to “enjoy”, and how an AOL VP, who probably earns rather nicely, is praised for his “patience” in dealing with a person in a much shittier situation?
Granted, after reporting uncritically and making fun of the customer rep, even Ars Technica realizes that the problem might be with Comcast:
While the representative was maybe too insistent on his script, his aggressiveness hints at a more systemic problem in how Comcast is evaluating its CSRs, such that even one departing customer is an alarming loss.
And to nobody’s surprise, the loan slave will get to suffer:
Comcast has released a lengthier statement reacting to the call:
“We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and are contacting him to personally apologize. The way in which our representative communicated with him is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives. We are investigating this situation and will take quick action. While the overwhelming majority of our employees work very hard to do the right thing every day, we are using this very unfortunate experience to reinforce how important it is to always treat our customers with the utmost respect.”
So to summarize: a low-income person is pushed into aggressively retaining customers by high-income persons, another high-income person makes this public, and as a result the low-income person will be the victim of “quick action”.